You are beautiful.
I use that word because I mean it.
a breeze kicking up leaves amongst the cigarette butts,
a million lights glittering behind the building across the street,
a manicured green that is nonauthorisé.
Something as beautiful as you cannot be sit on.
It can only be pictured again and again
until every strand of memory weaves itself into a canvas
to hang over a hole in the drywall,
or a sheet
to drape over the chair that just can’t be gotten rid of.
What I mean to say is
I can’t let go of the way
you smell like butter and piss and Chanel No. 5.
I can’t stop hearing the crinkle of your rolling papers,
the sigh of your train as it cools on the tracks,
the cry of seagulls who mistook your river for the sea.
I can’t purge you from my palette, either,
scrape you from my tongue,
nor can I wash out my resentment.
I thought I’d beaten you the moment I said
“I will never come back.”
I meant it then.
my return is all I can imagine now;
my arrival on your doorstep is all I can foresee.
My entrance will go unnoticed,
but the sound of my shoe on your staircase
will shake you from your ambivalence.
though I may cringe at every step up your tower,
when I reach the top there will be
nothing more you can do to me.
I will have skipped the elevator,
refused to settle for the second-to-last étage,
elbowed my way through your hoard of suitors,
survived it all.
And then, at long last,
your wind will wash over me like water
and all I will hear is your wayfaring voice,
pleading me to never forget your luster…
In time, my love,
your brilliance may be eclipsed by the young,
and your splendor overshadowed by the bold,
but your beauty
the day you turn to ash
will be the day
this world goes black—